There’s nothing like browsing in the bookstore – seeing what catches my eye. I walk into my local Barnes & Noble and flit (is that even a word) from the magazine section to the new books on display at the front of the store. I check both fiction and non-fiction before moving on to the “new in paperback” section (maybe I can save a few dollars). After I’ve completed this circuit, I retrace my steps and look again, this time a little more closely and carefully. Next, if I’ve come for a specific book on this trip now is when I go on the hunt for it. I take the time to check the children’s section, although I’m not a real fan of this section at my local B&N. I never seem to find any of the books that are mentioned on Twitter or the blogs that I follow. And I can just forget about seeing any books from diverse authors on display – they are even noticeably absent in the month of February (and everybody knows to at least put books on display for Black History Month!). Then I move on to take one quick look at the journals before checking out.
I’m sure many of you have similar routines you follow as you visit the bookstore and/or library.
We need to let our kids have the same experience...time to browse the books and magazines whether it’s at the bookstore or the library. More importantly allowing them to CHOOSE what they want to read. Sounds simple enough, but its not common practice, yet!
Whether you are taking a trip with the kids in tow to your local bookstore or the library, always have a plan in mind! I suggest the following 3 steps as you make your plan:
1. Time - Spending time with your kids at the bookstore or library is a BIG DEAL! You are creating experiences that help make reading a pleasure so schedule the time and stick to your schedule.
2. Preparation – Bring your list of specifics the kids want - whether its the latest in their favorite series or a book recommended by their friend or something to help out with a school project. Take care of that first. Once that is taken care of, let the browsing begin.
3. Choice – Let them choose! Our kids taste varies (and usually its not what we would select) – there’s Pinkalicious, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Capt. Underpants, Dork Diaries, Sister, or award winners like Brown Girl Dreaming or Crossover probably recommended by their school librarian, or even the good old-fashioned Berenstain Bears, or a gazillion other choices. Sometimes they may just want to choose a really easy book. It might be an old favorite they remember. And that’s okay too. Don’t we as adults take a “brain break” and choose a frivolous fast read every now and then?
According to the Scholastic Family Report, kids say their favorite book is the one they choose themselves (classroom teachers you may want to make note of that).
Finally, as you leave the store or library know that you’ve just done something GREAT for your kids! You are building their love for reading. And it doesn’t get any better than that.
See you next Wednesday!